Ethan Miller, Getty Images Last night at the 2013 Billboard Music Awards, all the…
- Posted on Mar 19th 2010 4:00PM by Kenneth Partridge
"I honestly never listened to a full Beatles album until one of my friends was like, 'This stuff reminds me of the Beatles,'" Harvey tells Spinner.
The singer and multi-instrumentalist soon gained a new appreciation for the Fab Four, and as he polished songs for his Philly-based band's full-length debut, 'Born and Thrown on a Hook,' due out March 23, he incorporated elements of the Beatles' music.
"This is kind of awesome," Harvey remembers telling himself as he acquainted himself with the Lennon-McCartney catalog. "This is kind of what I was going for. It was something I did go back to and reflect upon hearing it and just kind of refined what I was doing a little. But I didn't change any melodies or anything."
While 'Born And Thrown on a Hook' certainly has its 'Sgt. Pepper' moments, Drink Up Buttercup is no tribute act. Armed with vintage organs and melodicas, as well as the usual guitar, bass and drums, the band specializes in a kind of carnivalesque indie-pop -- a sound heavy with ideas but light enough to race through three or four genres in as many minutes.
If the record has something of a '60s feel, Harvey attributes the retro vibe to Oldies 98, the Philly station he often listened to growing up. One song that made a particular impression, he says, was 'Lollipop,' the 1958 Chordettes hit.
"I tried mastering the lollipop noise, the little pop thing, for, like, a solid month and ripped the entire inside of my mouth apart trying to do that," Harvey says. "I was obsessed with the real sugary stuff they would play. But I feel like the trippier psychedelic part honestly came from me just being a different kind of weird person, in a way."
These days, Harvey keeps to the far left of the radio dial -- not to hear indie bands on college stations, but rather to soak up the stimulating conversation of NPR.
"I don't listen to that much music, to be honest," he says. "If I'm in a car, I'll listen to talk radio as opposed to music. Other music doesn't really make me more creative as much as hearing things people have to say outside music."